Turtle

Timing a turtle

This fossilised shell (carapace) of a turtle came to the museum with very little information about it. So we need to use detective work to answer questions about its age and where it came from.

The fossil is lying in Purbeck Limestone, so we know that it’s Lower Cretaceous in age. This helps us to place the carapace in context with others so we can start to understand the evolution of turtles. But the Purbeck Limestone group covers some five million years of geological time, so without knowing exactly which layer of rock it came from, we can’t work out much more. This shows how important it is to record all the details of where a fossil is found.

 

Find out more on the reptiles pages.
 

Common name

Turtle

Scientific name

Pleurostosternum

Type

Vertebrates > Reptiles > Crocodiles and Turtles


Strata

Purbeck Limestone Group

Time period

Lower Cretaceous

Age

142 million years

Where found

Unknown

Found by

Unknown

Museum

Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

Accession number

DCM.G.06262